By M.D. Kittle, MacIver News Service | June 16, 2017
[Madison, Wis...] - And Wisconsin shall lead them - again.
Tax reform guru Grover Norquist predicts 10 states will pass REINS Act legislation in the coming year, and he asserts Wisconsin can take a bow for that. year, and he asserts Wisconsin can take a bow for that.
"Congratulations for living in Wisconsin, which has consistently been a leader in this fight to increase liberty and make the government play by its own rules," Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, told MacIver News Service last week on the Mark Belling Late Afternoon Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN.
Last week, the Assembly, on a party-line vote, passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, commonly known as the REINS Act. Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the measure.
The REINS Act is similar to legislation moving through Congress, but with lower thresholds. It provides greater legislative oversight of the regulations adopted by state agencies. Any rule or regulation with an economic impact of more than $10 million would require legislative approval.
2 min read
By Peter Brookes Jun 15th, 2017
Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs
Peter helps develop and communicate The Heritage Foundation's stance on foreign and defense policy through his research and writing.
You’re not hearing much about it in the news with so many other big stories out there today, but the battle for retaking Raqqa — the capital of the Islamic State caliphate in Syria — is reportedly well underway.
This fight has been some three years coming, since ISIS took the city in 2014 from the Syrian army. The assault comes none too soon for us and others, considering past and recent ISIS-related terrorist attacks at home and abroad.
Britain has had a horrendous period with ISIS-tied attacks in Manchester and London. Who can forget the ISIS-related violence against innocents in Paris or Orlando, among others over the last few years?
While reported progress in taking back the Syrian city seems to be going much better than one would expect considering the strategic importance of Raqqa to ISIS (it is, after all, its last remaining major territorial stronghold), its fighters could very well dig in.
Raqqa’s loss would also be a major blow to the terror group’s internal psyche and its external image.
The battle for Mosul in Iraq, the city where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the Islamic State caliphate in 2014, has been going on now since early last fall, stretching now into its eighth month.
The battle for Raqqa could easily take some time, too, in light of the years that ISIS has had to prepare the city for bloody, door-to-door urban warfare just like we’ve seen in Mosul since that fight began last October.
By M.D. Kittle MacIver News Service | June 12, 2017
[Madison, Wis...] - Wisconsin this week could become the first state in the nation to pass a REINS Act, legislation demanding greater oversight of state bureaucratic rule-makers.
The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, commonly known as the REINS Act, is slated for floor debate Wednesday in the Assembly, where the bill enjoys wide support from majority Republicans.
Early last month the Senate passed the bill - co-authored by Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee).
Last session the Assembly passed a similar REINS Act bill on a party-line vote, but it died in the Senate as time wound down on the session.
Neylon says the GOP majority in the Assembly hasn't changed its stance.
"I think we are in a very good position. There is no wavering support. I believe it will (pass) on a party-line vote," he said.
Gov. Scott Walker included the reform measure in his biennial budget plan, but REINS was one of 83 "non-fiscal" policy items stripped from the Joint Finance Committee's starting budget document.
"State agencies currently have the power to pass harmful regulations with little oversight from the legislature that can cost Wisconsin businesses and citizens tens of millions of dollars in compliance and lost revenue," LeMahieu said in a statement following passage. "The REINS Act improves transparency in the rule making process and gives the legislature more power to hold unelected bureaucrats accountable."
The REINS bill is similar to legislation moving through Congress, but with lower thresholds. It provides greater legislative oversight of the regulations adopted by state agencies. Any rule or regulation with an economic impact of more than $10 million would require legislative approval.
And it gives the Legislature's Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules more muscle. The committee would be empowered to request a public hearing earlier in the rule-making process and call for an independent review of the proposed regulation's economic impact.
Democrats insist the REINS Act would undermine regulations designed to protect the public. The left-leaning Sierra Club described the federal REINS Act legislation as "clearly an imprudent if not perhaps Machiavellian attempt to chip away at the regulatory process."
Some environmentalists last session claimed the REINS Act would slow down the rules-making process. That "misleading" message ended up slowing down the legislative process, ultimately killing the bill, Neylon said. READ it HERE
By M.D. Kittle MacIver News Service | June 15, 2017
[Madison, Wis...] Gov. Scott Walker's plan to move the state's approximately 250,000 employees and their family members to a self-insurance system is expected to be officially pronounced dead today by the Joint Finance Committee.
"We are going to say no to self-insurance," state Rep. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, told MacIver News Service Wednesday.
But Felzkowski, a member of the budget committee, said the Republican-controlled JFC has a "suite of ideas" to draw savings from the current state health insurance system - perhaps more than $50 million worth after 2018.
That's important. The Walker administration projects the self-insurance proposal could save taxpayers $65 from the basic switch, and an additional $43 million in secondary costs. Opting not to change to a self-insurance model could cost employees significant increases in premiums, and self-insurance would keep the so-called Obamacare tax at bay, saving the state about $22 million.
Joint Finance Committee co-chairman, state Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) has said those savings are disingenuous because the Obamacare tax has yet to be collected and "there's no evidence to show it will be collected in the future."
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has estimated savings from a self-insurance makeover at about $47 million. One consultant's report said the switch could end up costing the state money.
Walker's 2017-19 budget plan uses the projected savings to help increase funding for public education.
Under the self-insurance model, the state would be responsible for paying benefits and taking on the risk for losses, currently the responsibility of 18 private HMOs. READ it HERE
It is long past time that we addressed the perversion of our educational system into a political platform for the radical left.
Commentary by David Horowitz, The Daily Caller 6.15.2017
It is no secret that, as the radical left moved from protesting on campuses in the ‘60s to infiltrating those campuses as educators in the decades since, American colleges and universities have been fundamentally transformed from institutions of higher learning to mills of political indoctrination. Through the leftwing schools of education and activist figures like terrorist Bill Ayers, a “distinguished professor of early childhood education” and editor of a series of manuals on teaching “social justice in secondary schools, the tentacles of that indoctrination now latch onto youthful minds beginning in kindergarten.
By the time today’s young college arrivals first unpack in their dorms, they are shoddily educated but already steeped in leftwing propaganda. They can barely read, have no appreciation for our country’s past except what anti-Americanism they have absorbed from communist historians like Howard Zinn, and are utterly ignorant of civics and the Constitution. But they have been steeped in social justice ideologies which see the world through the Marxist lens of victimhood and oppression. Make that white male capitalist oppression.
In an incident typical of the new pedagogy, a Staten Island sixth-grader came home last month with a politicized vocabulary assignment that disparaged Republican President Donald Trump while praising his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
In Maryland last year parents sued a school district for requiring that its high schoolers write and recite the Islamic profession of faith, while no such requirement existed – or could exist – for reciting the Lord’s Prayer, since that would allegedly violate the separation of church and state. Immersing students in Islamic faith is routine, of course, in California schools. In Maryland the schools spent two weeks studying Islam as opposed to a single day spent learning about Christianity or Judaism. This imbalance in religious instruction has become a common theme across the United States today as educators promote a rosy-eyed version of Islam.
This year Washington State schools will begin implementing new health and physical education standards which require students to learn about “gender identity” and “gender expression” beginning in kindergarten.
Last January an activist group within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers called the Caucus of Working Educators launched an optional lesson plan for the city’s kindergarten-to-12th grade students that included six days of social justice action. From “The Revolution Is Always Now” coloring pages for the younger kids to a science lesson about the biology of skin color for the older ones, the focus was on imbuing children with a heightened awareness of alleged racial inequalities and white privilege, fostering feelings of resentment and guilt.
READ it HERE
By Thomas Lifson, June 14, 2017 American Thinker
A gunman now identified as James Hodgkinson attempted a massacre of members of the GOP Congressional Baseball Team, practicing for a planned charity game against the Congressional Democrats Thursday night. The only reason the entire contingent of reps and aides were not slaughtered was the presence of a security detail of the Capitol Police, guarding a member to the majority leadership. Their armed response, which wounded both, staved off Hodgkinson’s intended killing spree (he shot more than 50 rounds), presumably pinning him down until police arrived a reported few minutes later.
It is most unfortunate for the Left that Hodgkinson is reportedly a Bernie fan, self-identified progressive. But it is evident that this was a crime of opportunity, not a well planned operation. Reportedly, Congressman Ron DeSantis was leaving early and encountered the man, who asked him who they were. He answered that it was a Congressional baseball team. Hodgkinson asked, “Which party?”
Hodgkinson is from Illinois, and it is not known why he was in Washington. But he seems to have traveled with an armory of sorts, which must have been in his car's trunk, parked nearby. Now, why would a deranged rabid progressive bring a lot of ammunition and at least one gun to the nation's capital? Doesn't it seem reasonable to wonder if this was just the first opportunity he got to enact violence against a target the Left agrees is evil: the GOP?
READ it HERE
First Lady Melania Trump Invites Supporters To Wish The President A Happy Birthday on June 14th
Say a prayer that God protect him and give him heroic virtue
Send handwritten card (even if a little late)
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20500
Call and leave a Happy Birthday! message: White House Phone Line (202) 456-1111
By Gerry Urbanek June 10, 2017 at Western Journalism.com
In honor of President Donald Trump’s 71st birthday, first lady Melania Trump is inviting supporters of the president to sign a birthday card (not included in this blog post - sorry!) in anticipation of upcoming celebrations Wednesday.
“I need your help to make it a birthday my husband will never forget,” she wrote in an email to supporters.
Continuing the greeting, Melania Trump expressed her appreciation for the loyalty of her husband’s supporters and their loyalty for both the president and for the Republican Party.
“Our celebrations always include family and close friends,” she said. “You have certainly proven yourself to be a loyal friend of my husband through your support of his positive vision to Make America Great Again and your unwavering commitment to the Republican Party,” she continued.
Melania concluded your birthday greetings would mean a lot to the president.
Trump says he, Walker negotiating with electronics manufacturer to bring jobs to Wisconsin
Milwaukee, June 13, 2017 WiscPolitics.com
WAUKESHA — President Donald Trump said during his visit today he and Gov. Scott Walker have engaged in talks with major electronics manufacturer about bringing jobs to Wisconsin.
“Just backstage, we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they’re going to give the governor a very happy surprise very soon,” Trump said during a roundtable discussion at Waukesha County Technical College, according to a pool report.
Trump did not disclose the name of the company. Trump held the roundtable with a group of 20 participants including state officials, education officials, manufacturing representatives and students following a tour of the college. The event was closed to local press.
Trump praised the facilities at WCTC, which he said “aren’t your normal lecture halls. But in a certain way, they are far more beautiful. You learn incredible skills like welding and repair.”
According to the pool report, Trump said “one of the most important questions facing” young people is access to training and education to get good-paying jobs.
He noted while he was in college there were some who didn’t have a lot of ability or didn’t like what they were doing, but were good at working on things such as engines. It is those people he is trying to help, he said, according to the pool report.
Trump said the trades keep the nation going. “We are going to do everything we can to make sure more young people have opportunities,” said Trump, who announced that he would release another portion of his apprenticeship initiative Wednesday.
Trump also praised Walker’s $3.9 million apprenticeship initiative, which provides grants to place high school students into apprenticeships.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, noted during the campaign business leaders said they had problems finding skilled labor and that technical colleges were helping to meet that need. READ it HERE
by Kay Nolan June 10, 2017 Milwaukee WiscPolitics.com
MILWAUKEE — Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday promised that people with pre-existing conditions “will have access to the coverage and care they need, no exceptions” under the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act
Pence declared President Trump “believes in states-based solutions” for Medicare and Medicaid and would urge states to make their own decisions.
“Under this administration, Gov. Walker will be able to bring Wisconsin solutions to meet the unique health-care challenges facing the people of Wisconsin,” Pence told those assembled at Direct Supply, a Milwaukee company that provides equipment, furniture and expertise to senior living communities.
In introducing Pence, Walker said he was proud that Wisconsin had not created an exchange under Obamacare and that his administration had also declined to take a federal Medicaid expansion offered through the Affordable Care Act.
Walker called Obamacare “broken” and said that if not repealed, 28 million Americans will not have insurance by 2026. That figure comes from a Congressional Budget Office report that also found 52 million would be uninsured that year under the GOP plan that cleared the House.
Dems focused on the additional 24 million that would not have insurance under the GOP plan as they slammed Pence’s speech.
“Kicking vulnerable people off of their health care insurance isn’t the Wisconsin way,” said state Dem Chair Martha Laning. “These aren’t just numbers, these are real people and we need to prioritize taking care of our most vulnerable Wisconsinites.”
Several Republican state lawmakers were in the audience, including Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon; Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills; Rep. Ken Skowronski, R-Franklin; and U.S. Reps. Glenn Grothman, of Glenbeulah, and U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, of Menomonee Falls.
The crowd applauded loudly when Pence praised Walker as “one of the best governors in the history of the Wisconsin and in the history of this country.” Pence successfully prompted a standing ovation when he praised House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both of Wisconsin, for their pledge to repeal Obamacare.
Pence, who also touted Trump’s support of the Keystone and Dakota pipelines the decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, told the audience the president “has signed more laws into effect and rolled back more red tape than any president in American history.”
“Donald Trump has a three-part agenda: jobs, jobs, jobs,” Pence said.
Pence told the crowd Julie Champine spoke of her health care woes during a private roundtable discussion, held in a separate room with Walker, business owners and others. Pence said Champine, who works from home, “literally cannot afford Obamacare” and that her premiums have risen higher than her mortgage.
by Stephen B. Presser, American Spectator June 9, 2017
Can Comey’s account be trusted?
Perhaps the most interesting moment of the hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday occurred when former FBI Director James Comey was being questioned on his interactions with President Donald Trump by Senator Angus King (I-Maine). The precise matter being addressed was whether the President had ordered Comey to stop investigating former Presidential advisor General Michael Flynn. Comey testified that Mr. Trump and he had both agreed that Flynn was “a good guy,” and Comey suggested that Trump expressed his hope that the investigation of Flynn could be ended. Comey testified that Mr. Trump had said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey is now taking the position that he understood Mr. Trump to be suggesting that Comey end his investigation of Flynn, and the clear implication (as it is now being trumpeted in various organs of the media) is that Trump was engaged in an attempt to obstruct justice, a criminal offense which quite possibly could be grounds for impeachment.
He and Senator King, examining Mr. Trump’s suggestion about Flynn likened it to the purported comment of the English monarch, Henry II, who was mired in controversy with the famous Archbishop Thomas a Beckett. Henry asked several of his courtiers, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” and, almost immediately thereafter, some of the King’s henchmen assassinated the churchman.
Most striking here is the implied assertion that President Trump (again, by implication acting illegally), was asserting kingly prerogatives (like Henry II), and expecting other governmental officials (here Comey) to carry them out. An equally plausible interpretation of Mr. Trump’s comments about Flynn, of course, now being brought forward by Mr. Trump’s defenders, is that this was not an order to Comey, but, simply the expression of a desire that someone (Flynn) whom the President believed to be a good man, and one who, in his opinion, had done nothing wrong, would not be further tormented.
Mr. Trump’s son, Donald Jr., has indicated that his father doesn’t work by indirection, and that if he was giving a direct order to Mr. Comey it would have been much clearer. Given Mr. Trump’s penchant for pithy tweets, and for his directness on the stump, it does seem quite plausible that when he wants to make something plain, he does. How then can one explain Mr. Comey’s interpretation, and, further, Mr. Comey’s repeated assertion during his Senate testimony that the President is a liar, and cannot be trusted?
One thought, floated by another Senator, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), is that Trump is speaking the language of a businessman, and Comey was not. This was in the context of Mr. Trump’s query to Mr. Comey whether he, the President, could depend on his loyalty. This is apparently an assertion sought by Mr. Trump from all of his cabinet members, and one that any sensible Chief Executive would want from those working under him or her. As Lankford explained, “I think Comey sees this differently than the president did. The president sees him [Comey] as another part of the team. Comey seems to see it as hey, we’re very independent, which the FBI has historically been, very independent.” READ it HERE